Carl Nassib just made sports history.
In an Instagram post shared on Monday afternoon, the football player and Raiders lineman came out as gay, making him the first active gay player in National Football League history to come out while signed to a team.
"What’s up people," Nassib said in his Instagram video. "I’m at my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for."
"I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America and they’re truly doing incredible things. I’m very excited to be a part of it and help in any way that I can and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds."
The Penn State alum is entering his sixth season in the NFL after he was drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft by the Cleveland Browns. Nassib is currently listed as third on the depth chart at the right defensive end position behind starter Johnathan Hankins and former San Francisco 49er first-round pick Solomon Thomas. He has 20.5 sacks in his career, and last year recorded his first interception.
While he is the first active player in the NFL to come out, Nassib is not the first active gay player. Ryan Russell became the first bisexual player in the league to come out while he was an unsigned free agent actively trying to earn a roster spot. Russell, a free agent who also plays the defensive end position, came out in 2019. OutSports reports there have been 15 known gay players in the NFL over the years.
Congrats, Carl! And welcome to the family!
Donald Padgett contributed to this post.